'Deadliest Catch': Former Cast Member Arrested On Charges Of Child Pornography

Paul Albert Edgren, who appeared on two seasons of Deadliest Catch, has been arrested on charges of child pornography according to a report from KXLY of Spokane, Washington. Edgren, who lives in Spokane, was in possession of child pornography that included girls as young as five years old who were engaged in sexual activity. He appeared in six episodes of Deadliest Catch in 2010 and 2011. Edgren was a deckhand on The Wizard at the time. The captain of The Wizard is Keith Colburn.

When Edgren left Deadliest Catch in 2011, it was to pursue a career in mountaineering. It was during previous time he spent as a professional climber that he met Colburn. He guided the Wizard captain up Mount Rainier, and Keith offered him a position as a greenhorn. Seeing the job as a good challenge during the climbing off-season, Paul accepted the offer that led him to his time on screen with Deadliest Catch.
After leaving Deadliest Catch, Edgren returned to Spokane, and three years later, detectives received a tip that started them on the trail that eventually led to his arrest. The tip was received from the Center For Missing And Exploited Children and was made through the internet. Detectives traveled to Paul's home to deliver a search warrant. When they entered his home they found him "in the middle of a sex chat and... visibly aroused." The former Deadliest Catch cast member was interviewed and his laptop and phone were seized by police. Upon examining the files on Edgren's laptop, detectives found multiple videos and photos of girls as young as five to seven engaged in a variety of sexual acts.Police state that Paul has indicated that he received the videos and photos without requesting them. The former Deadliest Catch greenhorn proceeded to tell them that sometimes he would forward the files to someone else. Police arrested him, but he was later released on two conditions -- that he not leave Spokane and that he not have contact with anyone under 18 years of age.

The official charges against Edgren include one charge of second degree possession of child pornography and three charges of first degree possession of child pornography. If convicted of the first degree charges, the former Deadliest Catch star will face up to 14 months of prison time for each count, for a total of up to 42 months just for the first degree charges. His trial date is currently scheduled for May 9.

Yesterday, Captain "Wild" Bill Wichrowski of Deadliest Catch tweeted his frustration with hiring practices and his reaction to the news of Paul Edgren's arrest.

Deadliest Catch appears on Discovery Channel. It has been on the air since 2005 and is currently in Season 12. Deadliest Catch is a documentary series narrated by Mike Rowe who is mostly known for his Dirty Jobs series. It follows the captains and crews of seven boats as they travel the Bering Sea in pursuit of Alaskan King crab, snow crab, and bairdi crab. Deadliest Catch currently broadcasts in 200 countries. The show features personal and work-related issues between various captains and their crew members. Deadliest Catch also documents the dangerous aspects of crabbing that come from the work and equipment that are involved as well as the hazards posed by the frigid and sometimes tempestuous sea waters. In their efforts to catch crab, crew members must push through the challenges posed by low temperatures, rough waters, and storms.

You can watch Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel on Tuesday nights at 9:00 ET. You can check out KXLY's report on the case against Paul Edgren in the video below.

[Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel]